NASA found a planet orbiting three suns | …

After much research by the NASA, TESS (its exoplanet reconnaissance satellite) discovered a very particular planet, which orbits in a triple star solar system.

Judging from its size, it is likely a Jupiter- or Saturn-style gas giant. KOI-5Ab it is unusual because the arrangement of your star system. Your circuit is not necessarily aligned with one of them. It is still unknown how each member of this system formed from the same swirling clouds of gas and dust.

David Ciardi, chief scientist at the Institute of Exoplanet Sciences of the NASA, presented the findings of the study of this strange world with the TESS mission at a virtual meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

We don’t know of many planets that exist in triple star systems, and this one is very special because its orbit is skewed.“Ciardi said in a statement. What is known is that triple star systems make up roughly 10% of all star systems.

“We still have Many questions on how and when planets in multiple star systems can form and how their properties compare to those of planets in single star systems. By studying this system in greater detail, perhaps we can understand how the universe forms planets, “he added.

The KOI-5ab Trail

After its initial detection by Kepler, a previous NASA mission, Ciardi and other researchers followed the trail of KOI-5Ab as part of a registry of planet candidates they were tracking.

Using data from the WM Keck Observatory in Hawaii, Caltech’s Palomar Observatory near San Diego, and Gemini North in Hawaii, Ciardi and other astronomers detected that KOI-5b appeared to be circling a star in a triple star system.

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However, they were still unable to determine whether the planet’s signal was actually a misfire from one of the other two stars or, if the planet was real, which of the stars it orbited. Until, in 2018, it appeared TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.

Like Kepler, TESS is designed to look for the flicker of starlight that occurs when a planet crosses in front of a star. TESS observed a portion of Kepler’s field of view, including the KOI-5 system. Sure enough, TESS also identified KOI-5Ab as a candidate planet. TESS discovered that the planet orbited its star approximately every five days.

I thought to myself ‘Remember this goal‘”Ciardi said, after looking at the data collected from TESS.” But we still couldn’t definitively determine if the planet was real or if the flare in the data came from another star in the system, it could have been a fourth star. ” the researcher said.

The sway track

Ciardi re-analyzed all the data, and then searched for new ground-based telescope leads. The Keck Observatory is used for tracking searches for exoplanets. With it you can measure the slight oscillation in a star when a planet rotates around it and exerts a gravitational pull.

Ciardi, partnering with other scientists through an exoplanet collaborative group called California Planet Search, looked for signs of any oscillations in the Keck data in the KOI-5 system.


Different data collections from ground and space telescopes helped to confirm that KOI-5Ab orbits star A, which has a relatively close companion, star B. Also, on the other hand, it was learned that star A and star B orbit each other every 30 years. A third gravitationally bound star, Star C, orbits stars A and B every 400 years.

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In another order, the NASA report explains that the planet’s orbital plane is not aligned with the orbital plane of star B, the second inner star, as might be expected if the stars and the planet were all formed from the same disk of swirling material. Astronomers believe that the second star gravitationally struck the planet during its development, skewing its orbit and causing it to migrate inward.


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